The New Coney Island - Brooklyn's Times Square by the Sea

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Aqueduct Resorts World Casino is a Home Run

We went yesterday. The place is absolutely packed. The way they get around the gambling laws is virtual roulette or virtual dealers all on computer screens. The slots are all like Atlantic City. It's a real casino and it's huge. Food is great too. They had a band playing at the bar in the casino as well. The casino seems larger than Atlantic City casinos to me.

This place is raking in the bucks. I can see why Cuomo wants to make casino gambling legal in NY. This would be a home run anywhere in NYC including Coney! Check out how successful this has been at Aqueduct.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Dyker Heights Lights

WSJ excerpt -

There is no need to be politically correct about the holidays in Dyker Heights.

You won't find Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Festivus decorations here.

Nope, this is Christmas Italian-style, so love it or leave it.

Dyker Heights, an Italian stronghold of generously sized houses, has held on to a tradition that began more than 25 years ago, before the demographics of many of the surrounding neighborhoods began to shift with booming Asian populations.

Even after Christmas comes and goes, the lit-up lawns and trees glitter under the dark skies. Dancing bears and gigantic Santas and Nutcrackers guard stately homes. Inflatable characters and some more, um, mundane plastic characters prevail as well (to each his own, isn't that the holiday spirit?).

It's not until after Jan. 6, or Three Kings Day, that it all comes tumbling down (though some start the cleaning up process after New Year's).

And most curious, the crowds keep coming to this far-flung Brooklyn neighborhood, even days after Christmas. By car, by bus, by foot, they came this week, snapping pictures and oohing and awing in every language imaginable. Hundreds of them.

An Elmo solicited money from cars (Where are we, Midtown?) for a church. A reindeer stood outside of another house, which had a sign saying it would give all donations to a charity for special-needs children.

A Party Bus was parked on 12th Avenue near 84th Street at 7:30 p.m. A half an hour later another bus pulled up.

"Unbelievable," said an Italian tourist, gawking at a columned house with rotating carousels and a larger-than-life Santa.

Brooklyn Paper states year round Boardwalk


The freak show expansion is in stark contrast to what’s currently happening at Coney Island: thrill ride operators Central Amusement International, with the city’s blessing, is in the process of turning the Boardwalk into a glitzy — and freak free — year-round resort town.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Brooklyn Eagle mentions Coney Casino

Excerpt -

Sitt’s eyes must have widened the other day when he heard that the governor wants to bring casino gambling to the city. One of the most obvious sites for a casino is clearly Coney Island, which would bring Coney into competition with Atlantic City. Did somebody say drool?

Shake Shack opens at Fulton Mall

Brooklyn Paper excerpts -

What’s Shakin’? Chains are gentrifying Fulton Mall, that’s what

The Fulton Mall is going upscale now that Shake Shack, Gap, and even a Las Vegas developer’s theme restaurant are moving in — but small business owners who’ve been here for decades say that high-speed gentrification is pricing them out.

On Tuesday, the high-end fast-food burger joint opened in a former pizzeria at the western end of the mall, just days after Downtown boosters hailed the news that Sugar and Plumm, a touristy cafe, and American BBQ and Beer Company, a new venture by a Vegas casino operator Mark Advent, are coming to Adams Street, the latest chains to join the mix of low-end retailers and mom-and-pops.

Downtown boosters say that the influx of new stores is good for everyone.

“We’re now seeing a much broader, diverse mix of retail on Fulton, so shoppers now have more choices,” said Michael Burke, who just left his job as chief operating officer of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “The result? Fulton Street and Downtown Brooklyn are becoming the one-stop retail destination for local residents and the entire borough.”

But Borough President Markowitz, a self-proclaimed fan of Shake Shack’s offerings, is bullish on the future of the Mall.

“After too many years of decline, Fulton Mall is undergoing a historic transformation,” he said earlier this year. “I believe we can once again make it the city’s most-prized shopping district, an eclectic and dynamic commercial strip that reflects the diversity of Brooklyn.”

More on Casinos and Coney

Spoke to a bunch of people yesterday. The real question here is whether Cuomo will want more than just a casino at Aqueduct for NYC ( they already have a virtual casino- Resorts World Casino NY). If it is made legal in NYC, Coney would be the perfect place for a Casino Hotel. We should know about any real plans in the next 2 years.

In the meantime check out Resorts World Casino. I'm heading over there tomorrow. It's easy to get to from Brooklyn. Right off the Belt Parkway exit 17. Just a couple minutes from Gateway Center Mall.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Daily News - Bloomberg supports Cuomo's casino idea

Excerpt -

Bloomberg: I’ll support Gov. Cuomo’s casino plan, ‘whatever he decides to do’

But the mayor says the city must get its fair share of the $$

Tuesday, December 27 2011, 5:55 PM

Mayor Bloomberg said Tuesday he is game to bring a casino to the city — despite not being a big fan of gambling.

Hizzoner said he would support Gov. Cuomo’s plan to possibly bring a casino to a place like Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens — as long as the deck isn’t stacked against the city.

“The governor has the problem of trying to come up with ways to provide the services that people want and are getting harder and harder to afford — and whatever he decides to do, we’ll be supporting him,” Bloomberg said.

Cuomo wants to legalize casinos because of their potential to generate revenue for the state — and Bloomberg said the city must get its fair share of the poker chips.

“I just want to make sure that if there is gambling, some of those revenues come to New York City,” Bloomberg said. “We need the revenues as well, just like every other part of the state.”

Read more:

Cuomo is pro NYC Casino

Found this Daily News link on Eddie Mark's Facebook page. Eddie is Chairman of Community Board 13

Excerpt -

ALBANY — Looking back on a successful first year in office, Gov. Cuomo vowed to make “eye-catching” moves in 2012 — and for the first time said he is open to rolling the dice on a casino in New York City.

“Do I support casino gaming at a New York City location? . . . Yes,” the governor told the Daily News in a year-end chat.

Like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Cuomo said he doesn’t want to see a casino in a densely populated part of the city, but would be open to putting one at a place like Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, which already has a virtual casino.

Cuomo expects to call on the Legislature in his Jan. 4 State of the State address to give the first of two needed votes to a state constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling in the state.

He stressed he is not “preselecting” New York City or any other area for possible casinos.

“I’m not excluding any locations at this time,” he said, adding that establishing a casino in a part of the city “certainly can” make sense because the operation would capitalize on the massive population.

“New York City is a real location,” he said. “Albany is a real location. Buffalo is a real location.”

Cuomo wants the Legislature in 2012 to pass the amendment without specifying how many casinos would be authorized or where they would be located.

He would spend the year coming up with a casino plan, then finalize details in 2013 — the earliest the issue could go before the voters for a required public referendum.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cafe and indoor event spaces in Steeplechase Plaza

I just found out that 2 adjacent indoor spaces in the Carousel Pavilion will be over 1000 square feet each. They will be for a food service concession (cafe) and an indoor event space. Capacity for each room should be about 50-75 people.

Add another boardwalk building that will be able to accommodate Coney year round visitation. This particular one is coming in 2013 though. A place to eat right after your carousel ride.

Free skating at Abe Stark rink this morning

Bensonhurst Bean excerpt -

For the fifth consecutive year, the children of Southern Brooklyn will have the chance to enjoy free ice skating at the Abe Stark Rink (1902 West 19th Street) in Coney Island.

This year’s star skater, former New York Ranger Nick Fotiu, will be hitting the ice to hand out prizes, sign autographs, and offer his assistance to first-timers.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Another record month of views for this blog

Thanks everyone! It seems to be increasing by hundreds of pageviews every month. But most importantly, Coney is making real progress this winter towards year round development. And that is what Brooklyn is about - The neighborhood, jobs and year round economic development. Go Coney! Love it!

As we wait for the Boardwalk to finally be revitalized this winter

A warm note about July 4th week at Coney. Here is a list of 6 Fireworks nights including July 4th at Coney in 2012! From the Brooklyn Cyclones calendar I received -


Friday June 29th
Saturday June 30th
Monday July 2nd
Wednesday July 4th
Friday July 6th
Saturday July 7th

Coney is going to be lit up and rockin July 4th week courtesy of the Brooklyn Cyclones!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nice article in The Brooklyn Ink

Rose emailed me for leads about a month ago. I hope I pointed her in the right direction. Good job! Coney is a ghost town during the winter


“How many people are working along the boardwalk in the winter? Very few, at a time when you need to create jobs [and] at a time when unemployment is extremely high,” Friedman explains.

Robert Dankner also believes that Coney’s gentrification will benefit the neighborhood without losing its cultural identity. “It’s less about making [Coney] upscale, and more about changing the landscape so that there are things to do there for people other than the residents. It just brings money into the community as it would with any community.” Dankner’s real estate company represents Horace Bullard, who owns three acres of land that is within Coney’s new zoning boundaries.


For now, Michael Sarrel and his family are celebrating –they found out in early December that Ruby’s lease was renewed for eight years.

“It’s a new challenge for us,” Michael says, as he considers what’s in Ruby’s future. “We have to redevelop the place, rebuild the place – there’s going to be different dynamics in Coney Island than there were before so we’re both anxious and excited.”

There’s some hesitation in Michael’s voice even though he is happy that Ruby’s is staying on the boardwalk.

“[The city] wants a more uniformed look to the boardwalk. So if you look at the boardwalk now each store has it’s own unique personality and look.” Michael admits that the boardwalk could use a facelift. “It’s all dicey looking and needs to be cleaned up but now they want everything to sort of fit, for everything to seam together.”

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Coney rumor - Saturday Night Live Stage Set

Interesting rumor I heard from a good source that within the next 2 years the SNL main stage set will change from the current Grand Central station theme to a Coney Island theme. This would be fantastic news for Coney visibility and future development prospects.

I informed the CIDC and Marty of the rumor. There will be further investigation into it. If anyone has any additional details please shoot me an email. Thanks!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Joe Sitt Brooklyn buys continue

WSJ excerpt -

Brooklyn-born developer Joseph Sitt has been buying up pricey retail development sites on Fifth Avenue and in the Meatpacking District. But his latest venture takes him back to his more modest roots.

Mr. Sitt, chief executive of Thor Equities, has purchased an apartment building at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street in Brooklyn, with plans to renovate the first two floors for as much as 6,000 square feet of retail space.

The former co-chairman of Brooklyn's Fulton Street Business Improvement District has been a major player in the outer boroughs with investments in Coney Island and a proposed retail project near Gravesend Bay.

He bought the new site for $5.4 million in a foreclosure auction. The purchase is paltry compared with some of his recent buys, but Mr. Sitt says he's betting on downtown Brooklyn's rapidly developing retail scene, which includes a new Shake Shack, H&M and Panera Bread.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cuomo's 2012 agenda - Casino Study

Daily News excerpt -

Gov. Cuomo Thursday morning said a constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling in New York may not spell out where the gambling dens would go.

Cuomo, appearing on Talk 1300 AM this morning, said he wants to take next year to “do our homework and let's talk about it and let's start to work on it and do a real study.”

Legalizing casino gambling requires two successively elected state Legislatures to pass a constitutional amendment before putting it up for public referendum.

Cuomo today said he does not believe an amendment needs to specifically spell out locations for the casinos. That could be decided on separately.

“You can pass (an amendment) next year without getting into the regulation of the industry,” he said.

“You can amend the constitution with language without getting into what regions and where... We have two years, frankly, to put a system together.”

Brooklyn Eagle on Development

Excerpt -

Not to be forgotten, and maybe as prominent a development as any others I have mentioned, is the plan for Coney Island. This will be a whole new place and a whole new center of activity. Go to Wyoming now and come back in 10 years and you won’t believe your eyes.

If planners keep their eyes on the ball, Coney Island could become a new Atlantic City, linked to the rest of the city by high-speed, water-borne transport.

These are not will o’ the wisp kinds of visions. They are quite possible, if not probable, developments.

January 12th - Spotlight on Brooklyn South

Spotlight on Brooklyn South

180 Remsen St, Brooklyn, NY, FREE

St Francis College hosts "Spotlight on Brooklyn South." Featured speakers will include:

  • John Reinhardt, President, Fillmore Real Estate
  • Nate Bliss, President, Coney Island Development Corp.
  • Eddie Sitt, CEO, Sitt Asset Management
  • Zachary Kerr, President, M & R Management Corp.
  • Ned Berke, Blogger, Sheepshead Bites

Friday, December 16, 2011

Walking the boardwalk all winter

It reminds of when Keyspan (MCU) Park was first built 10 years ago. My wife and I went just about every winter weekend to see the progress. This is history in the making folks. We are going to have all new construction taking place for a year boardwalk by April of 2012. First time ever! I may even post some pics here of the boardwalk businesses' progress over the winter. It's freakin exciting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marty comments on Nets owner's run for Russian presidency

NY Post excerpt -

The news that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is planning a long-shot bid for the Russian presidency in 2012 against Vladimir Putin has many people talking – except, of course, other Nets brass.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said: "While I wish him the best of luck in his run for the Russian presidency, the Prokhorov campaign that's the most important to Brooklyn is the campaign to bring [Orlando Magic star center] Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

Today's Daily News renderings

Zamperla's renderings in today's paper edition of the Daily News were just outstanding! I can't wait to see what this Year Round Boardwalk looks like in April/May. Huge change is coming. Absolutely Huge! I told my wife tonight I feel like crying I am so happy. I just can't wait! I am seriously expecting a press release in the next couple of days. Maybe tomorrow.

2012 - Coney Year Round Begins. It is really happening! It's freakin really came true! I can't believe it. We must have been to close to 100 CIDC meetings since 2003. All worth it.

Walk the boardwalk this winter and watch it be created before our very eyes! History in the making. Coney Year Round for the first time EVER!

Tom's Restaurant will seat 100 people and be open 8AM to Midnight

I personally can't describe what a dream come true it is for me to see all the Coney Island Boardwalk businesses go Year Round! Celebration time! Thank You Marty! Thank You Nate! More news coming.....

Brooklyn Daily excerpt-

Tom’s owner said the 75-year-old diner’s Coney outpost will open next April after a $500,000 to $750,000 renovation that will turn the former Cha-Cha’s Bar into a sit-down restaurant for 80–100 people with an expanded menu featuring seafood dishes and a takeout counter. It will be open from 8 am to midnight.

“It’ll be Tom’s with a little bit of a seafood twist,” said Jimmy Kokotas. “This is a wonderful opportunity to take what we’ve got here and bring it to Coney Island.”

Marty says Boardwalk is going Year Round!!!!

YESSSS! NY Post also says the businesses have agreed to Year Round!!! Domenic says more to come in a year!

NY Post excerpt -

“These new leases will help ensure that Coney Island continues to be a year-round, affordable entertainment destination for families throughout New York City,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Critics had worried that an influx of chain eateries could rob Coney Island of its character. But, as part of the lease agreements, all the companies agreed to make substantial investments in their rental properties.

The businesses also agreed to stay open year round and to hire new staff from the neighborhood.

“I can tell you we are going to have a full, blown-out boardwalk this summer,” said Councilman Domenic Recchia (D-Coney Island). “This is just the beginning. We are supposed to open more spots and expand next summer.”

One of the newcomers will be Tom’s Restaurant, a storied 75-year-old Prospect Heights diner that will open on the boardwalk this summer.

The restaurant, famous for such old-fashioned Brooklyn comforts as egg creams, will be the first breakfast spot on the beach.

It will be housed in the former location of beach bar and grill Cha Cha’s.

Tom’s, along with Ruby’s and Paul’s Daughter, could be open as early as April.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Daily News says Tom's Restaurant plans to be Year Round

Still no word on year round for Rubys and Pauls Daughter, although the rendering of Ruby's in the article looks like quite a change is coming. Also confirmation on Steve's Grillhouse eviction. Beer Garden going near there. Does that building stay with a new tenant or will it be knocked down? Nathan's and Brooklyn Beach shop got 8 years leases in addition to Ruby's and Paul's Daughter. Press release tomorrow?

Daily News excerpt -

Tom’s owner Jimmy Kokotas said the 75-year-old diner, which regularly draws lines around the corner, is eager to open a new location in the seaside amusement mecca. They’ll offer up a similar menu, plus some seafood additions.

“[There’s] the tradition and history of Coney Island, and we have a rich tradition and history of our own. Bringing them both together, I think it’s going to be great,” he said.

Kokotas plans to open by May and hopes to eventually be open year-round. Customers waiting on line will enjoy the same Prospect Heights’ perk — free coffee and cookies.

“If we have lines, we definitely will,” Kokotas said.

Zamperla, the Italian ride maker tapped by the city to take over its Coney Island land last year and open new amusement parks, did go ahead with evictions of several businesses: Beer Island, Cha Cha’s bar, Coney Island Souvenirs, Grillhouse, and Gyro Corner.

Also set to return with eight-year leases are the Lola Staar boutique, Coney Island Beach Shop, and Nathan’s — in a new bigger space.

Rounding out the Boardwalk space will be more new rides — including go-karts and the 109-foot SkyCoaster — and a beer garden run by Zamperla, Ferrari said.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Remember the rumored terms of the boardwalk deal in the NY Post article

There is real hope here. Let's hope they stick to year round-

NY Post excerpt from October -

Ruby’s, which was expected to shut down after 77 years in business on Oct. 29, and Paul’s Daughter, a four-decade-old food stand, are now among the likely candidates, sources said. They would have to agree to significant capital improvements, staying open year-round and filling new jobs locally.

“It’s not a done deal, but there could be an announcement very soon where at least some return,” said a source.

Read more:

One thing is going to be really fun this winter. Watching all this new construction happening throughout the boardwalk. All of this has to be ready by April. Less than 4 months away.

Will we get a press release next week on the Boardwalk plan?

I'm certainly expecting one. And hopefully we get clear details concerning the year round plan and what is to become of the Steve's Grill House building.

Video - Rumor that Dwight Howard will demand trade to the Nets!

Deron Williams and Dwight Howard? Wow!

ESPN excerpt -

Dwight Howard will ask the Orlando Magic to trade him to the New Jersey Nets, and a deal could go down as soon as Friday, sources close to the situation said.

Howard's representatives have already told the Nets that they are his preferred destination.

When Howard speaks to the Magic, he will tell them that he will not re-sign with the team after this season, sources said. There is also a chance that Howard will not attend the opening of training camp Friday, according to a source.

As reported last week, the Nets are ready to offer the Magic a package built around center Brook Lopez and two first-round draft picks, New Jersey's own and one the Nets acquired from Houston in a previous trade, according to sources.

New Jersey is also willing to take back Hedo Turkoglu and the three years, $34 million remaining on his deal.

The appeal of the Nets for Howard is the chance to play with All-Star point guard Deron Williams and the Nets' move into a new arena in Brooklyn for the start of the 2012-13 season.

Williams and Howard spoke several times about teaming up during the lockout.

Video here -

Barclay's Center to host Legend's Classic


ESPN Networks to Telecast Classic Games on November 19-20, 2012

Thursday, December 7, 2011

BROOKLYN – Barclays Center continues to bring major college basketball to Brooklyn, as it will host the Legends Classic on November 19-20, 2012.

Produced by the Gazelle Group, the tournament will be in its 6th year and will be telecast on the ESPN networks. The tournament field will be announced in the spring of 2012.

"The Legends Classic has consistently produced great match-ups and exciting tournaments and we are excited to bring it to Brooklyn," said Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark. "We are looking forward to having ESPN telecast the games and propel Barclays Center and Brooklyn into the national spotlight for college basketball fans. The Legends Classic furthers our commitment to make Barclays Center a significant national collegiate sports venue."

"We are excited to bring the Legends Classic to Barclays Center," said Gazelle Group president Rick Giles. "In five short years the Legends Classic has made an undeniable mark on the college basketball landscape and has produced many memorable moments. We look forward to enhancing the event and creating even more memorable moments in Brooklyn."

Past champions of the Legends Classic include Vanderbilt (2011), Syracuse (2010), Florida (2009), Pittsburgh (2008), and Texas (2007). In the first four years of its existence, the Legends Classic featured six teams that went on to advance to at least the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The Legends Classic will become part of the expanding BROOKLYN HOOPS college franchise for Barclays Center. Last month, Kentucky head coach John Calipari announced at a press conference that the Wildcats would tip-off against Maryland in the inaugural Barclays Center Classic on November 9, 2012. Long Island University, Morehead State, and Lafayette are the additional three teams included in the tournament.

Other major college basketball programming for Barclays Center includes the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Championship tournament, and Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, one of the early-season college basketball showcase events.

Currently under construction, Barclays Center will be a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue when it opens in September 2012. Barclays Center will offer approximately 18,000 seats for basketball and will have one of the most intimate seating configurations ever designed into a modern multi-purpose arena.

Now we know the setup on the boardwalk except for one!

Here it is - Tom's Restaurant, Brooklyn Beach Shop, Ruby's, Lola Staar, Nathan's, Famiglia, Coney's Cones and Paul's Daughter. The one we still don't know - What is replacing Steve's Grill House?

Friday, December 9, 2011

NY1 reports Tom's Restaurant, Ruby's and Paul's Daughter all sign 8 year leases

Video -

Still waiting for word on year round for Ruby's and Paul's Daughter.

Amusing the Zillion reporting Paul's Daughter signed for 8 years

Here is the link

What's not addressed is the whole key to all of this. If Paul's Daughter has signed and Ruby's may be soon, Will They Be Going Year Round? We know Tom's Restaurant, Brooklyn Beach Shop and Nathans will be going year round on the Boardwalk. Will Paul's Daughter and Ruby's do the same? That's the big question. Hopefully we see some kind of official announcement with the important details soon!

Have Rubys and Paul's Daughter signed deals as well?

Looks like it according to Lola Staar's twitter post-

thanks! Yes! Ruby's & Paul's Daughter will be on the boardwalk as well!!/Lola_Star_

If she is correct, I hope they came to a deal for year round, and we hear concrete details soon.

Lola Staar signs 8 year Coney lease and is disappointed?

Look at what she wrote on her Facebook page -

Lola Staar Well, Dana, that's not to say that the fabulous world of Lola Star isn't going to grow far beyond that little shop in those 8 years! I am disappointed that they did not give me that opportunity to grow into a larger space. The opportunity was there and they have it to a different, more generic souvenir shop! But I am still planning on growing! I am disappointed that the opportunity to grow wasn't granted to me in Coney Island, but I'll find another neighborhood in Brooklyn or Manhattan to make my dreams of growing my business into a reality!

Obviously she was also interested in the space that is going to Brooklyn Beach Shop.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Video - Brooklyn Independent TV profiles Tom's Restaurant

How popular is Tom's? Check out this awesome video as well -

Now we know the 3 year round anchors!!!

Tom's Restaurant, Brooklyn Beach Shop, and Nathans all open year round on the Boardwalk starting this spring! YES!!!!!! FINALLY!!!

Tom's restaurant coming to Coney Boardwalk Year Round!

NY1 exclusive -

A Brooklyn institution hopes to set up shop on the Coney Island boardwalk in April under a new deal that's expected to be signed by the end of the week. NY1’s Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

Stepping into Tom's Restaurant is like stepping back into time. It has tile floors, an old fashioned counter and fountain drinks like egg creams.

Tom's has been a Brooklyn institution on this Prospect Heights corner since 1936. Now it's looking to expand to a new location on the Coney Island boardwalk.

"I think bringing this to the boardwalk and to Coney Island would open up a wonderful opportunity for the people of the beach, for the people of Coney Island," says Jimmy Kokotas, owner of Tom’s.

Kokotas has been negotiating with the boardwalk's landlord Zamperla to lease the space, which is the former site of ChaCha's and Nathan's boardwalk concession.

Sources say a deal is expected to be in place by the end of the week. Kokotas hopes to make use of the building's rooftop and says he may add a few seafood items, though basically his menu would stay the same.

"We'd like to stay open as much as possible. The ultimate goal is 52 weeks so people can come and have pancakes and eggs and whatever else they'd like on the boardwalk in December, in January and February," says Kokotas.

Video and full story here -

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RFP issued for Coney Creek Hotel/Retail Development site

NY Post excerpt

After years of working to revive Coney Island’s fabled beachfront, the city is finally showing some love to a long-neglected waterway in the seaside community.

The city Economic Development Corporation today began soliciting proposals from developers interested in buying and developing a 48,000-square-foot site on Stillwell Avenue off Coney Island Creek, possibly for retail space, office space, hotels, community space or industrial use.

"This site would be perfect to support the anticipated development of hotels and year-round amusements within the entertainment district, and I remain hopeful that respondents will explore providing public access to Coney Island Creek—along with habitat and shoreline restoration—which I envision as an ideal place to promote human-powered boating," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

"I look forward to working with the mayor, EDC, our elected officials and community partners to see this property developed in a manner complimentary to the objectives of the Coney Island Plan, which will help ensure that Coney’s best days as America’s Playground for the 21st century are yet to come," he added.

Ruby's - No deal yet

Unbelievable how long this process is taking. I wonder if there are outside negotiations going on. There is a time limit on construction for opening in 2012.

From Ruby's Facebook page -

Rubys Bar and Grill no deal signed yet Yesterday at 4:02pm

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Strange headline on Ruby's Web site

This headline still hasn't changed -

After 77 years of serving the community, Rubys, the oldest continually running business on the Coney Island Boardwalk, is being EVICTED. Come join with us on our last day which will be Sunday Oct. 30, 2012. This additional season has happened in part due to the support of our great customers, and fans THANK YOU and see ya soon!!!

Now if they are working on renovations and thus have a new deal, why would their website still say they are being evicted??? Quite strange.

Word may be getting around about renovations

This is a quote from Amusing the Zillion from yesterday-

Will the Coney Island Boardwalk remain a magnet for video and film shoots when it’s mostly shiny and new and neon?

The shiny and new part is certainly much needed for the boardwalk businesses. But still no word on Paul's Daughter that I can find on the net thus far.Link

Looks like Rubys is starting renovations

According to their Facebook page they are working on their floor today. One would assume they have a deal if they are working on renovations already.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Video - Nate Bliss talks Year Round Coney

Brooklyn Independent TV interviews the CIDC President-

Discussion includes Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Bowling Alleys, Housing, Infrastructure, Retail, Jobs, Zoning.

Skycoaster coming to Coney

Bay News excerpt -

Thrill-seekers will get a bird’s-eye view of Coney Island next summer — at speeds of up to 60-miles-per-hour — when Central Amusement opens a new ride that combines the thrills of bungee jumping with the thrills of, well, skydiving.

The new Skycoaster will swing harnessed riders through the air on cables stretched between two roughly 110-foot-tall towers, sending riders at the breakneck speed back and forth in a pendulum motion. The ride lasts roughly five minutes.

A spokesman for Central Amusement did not say how much each thrill will cost, but said that the Skycoaster will join a new go-kart track inside of the Speed Zone, an amusement park a stone’s throw from the Boardwalk that’s scheduled to open next April.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Walked the boardwalk last night

An absolute ghost town. Nothing open. There were maybe 3 or 4 other people we saw during the hour we were there. Incredible how little has changed since the 1980s and 90s when my wife and I walked the boardwalk on many winter nights. A ghost town then, a ghost town now.

Good news is that change seems to be coming. The whole little league ball field behind MCU park is being ripped up and there is a sign there for Steeplechase Plaza coming summer 2013, with an indoor Carousel and space for concessions and retail. So groundbreaking has already happened. From there down the boardwalk all the way to the Aquarium it appears we will see change. Signs taken down for places like Gyro Corner and Paul's Daughter. I wonder whether Steve's Grill House will be replaced by a restaurant or will they knock it down for a boardwalk entrance to Speed Zone?

I am expecting to see big changes on the boardwalk in 2012 and my goodness is it desperately needed. There is absolutely nothing open there on a beautiful fall Saturday night. There were 3 cars in the whole MCU Park parking lot. Three! Can you imagine how many cars will be there when the boardwalk is full of year round restaurants? Coney waits..............

Thursday, November 24, 2011

2003 - How far we have come

Man it has taken too long. Bruce Ratner bought the Nets in 2003. The CIDC was formed in 2003. On this Thanksgiving let's all give thanks that we are so very close to the 2 most important Brooklyn developments in history - The Barclays Center and Year Round Coney.

We are that close. Brooklyn takes on Manhattan in 2012. Year-Round! Happy Thanksgiving!

Atlantic Yards Tower

NY Times excerpt -

Design Unveiled for Tower at Atlantic Yards

The developer Bruce C. Ratner unveiled the design Thursday for what would be the world’s tallest prefabricated steel structure, a 32-story residential building in Brooklyn at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street in the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project.

The 350-unit building would use varying rectangular shapes, colors and glass to break up the mass of the structure, which would sit snugly up against the Barclays Center, the arena for the Nets that is to open in September. Mr. Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner, said that prefabrication, or modular construction, could save construction time and cut costs by as much as 25 percent. Fourteen other residential buildings would be built at Atlantic Yards using the approach. The second tower would be even taller, 50 stories.

Forest City Ratner is also negotiating a labor agreement with construction unions, which have supported Atlantic Yards but could end up with fewer jobs and lower wages for some trades if modular construction is used.

Mr. Ratner said Thursday that he hoped to begin construction early in 2012. But the start date has been a moving target for more than a year. He may ultimately decide to build the first tower conventionally. But Mr. Ratner’s company has now invested two years in studying modular construction, a technology that has existed for decades but is untested at this height. The world’s tallest modular building is a 25-story dormitory in Wolverhampton, England, that was built in 2010 in less than 12 months.

Monday, November 21, 2011

CIDC Mission Statement

There seems to be some confusion on the net lately as to the actual wording of the CIDC Mission statement.

Here it is right here -


Coney Island Development Corporation works to make Coney Island a year-round, world-class recreational oceanfront destination through business development, job creation, new housing and unique cultural events.

The goals of the CIDC are then delineated underneath the Mission statement that I listed above


  • Develop year-round businesses to strengthen the Coney Island economy and encourage the development and retention of existing businesses
  • Improve neighborhood conditions and quality of life, parks and other community facilities
  • Facilitate the development of vacant and underutilized properties
  • Encourage the development of new housing to create a stable consumer base in the neighborhood

So there you have it. The exact mission statement and then the exact goals.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Coney Zoning - Sit-down restaurants

I wanted to make a point about the 2009 rezoning in Coney Island that I believe has been virtually ignored in the press. Before the rezoning, no sit-down indoor restaurants were allowed in the C-7 zone. That changed with the rezoning and I believe is a big reason why the CIDC and Zamperla are pushing for indoor restaurants on the boardwalk. They are now legally allowed in the zone and can turn Coney into a year round destination.

I believe many people believe that sit-down restaurants were never attempted in the zone because of cold weather in the winter. The reason they have never been attempted before is because they were not legal in the C-7 zoning. Winter weather on the South Brooklyn waterfront does not keep people away from the Emmons Ave marina restaurants in Sheepshead Bay, and it does not keep people away from the Brighton Beach boardwalk restaurants. The results will be the same in Coney. If you build it people will come.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Video - Alberto Zamperla talks Coney and Cyclone

New trains on the Cyclone for 2012

Start video at 11:40 mark

From ThemeParkReview

Looks like this blog will have a record month

We are on a record pace for hits. May hit 3000 this month. Interesting month. Thanks.

Kings Plaza Panera Bread finally opens

Bay News excerpt -

Here’s a bread line everyone wants to join!

Panera Bread, an artisanal bakery, sandwich and soup chain, opened its first Brooklyn franchise at Kings Plaza in Mill Basin on Nov. 14 — and bread lovers throughout the borough are cheering its arrival.

“This place is great...I love this stuff,” said Canarsie resident Diane Strachan, who was one of the first to enter the brand new Flatbush Avenue bread shop near Avenue U. “I used to go to one in Baltimore and when I heard one was opening here, I made sure we were here early.”

Panera, the Missouri-based company that boasts “cozy conversation nooks,” free WiFi, and a varied selection of pastries, specialty breads, sandwiches, paninis, soups, and salads, considers itself a high end cafe for “fast casual” eating.

It will join McDonald’s, Sbarros, Nathan’s, Cinnabon, Taco Bell and Subway at the mall, but it won’t be part of Kings Plaza per-se: there is no way to get to Panera from inside the mall, so if you want a pastry, you’ll have to leave the mall and use the door facing Flatbush Avenue.

Officials at Kings Plaza say no mall entrances were installed because Panera will be open later.

Actually, workers will be inside Panera at all times: when the eatery closes at 10 pm, bakers start baking the bread for the next morning.

Borough President Markowitz celebrated Panera’s arrival by joining in the company’s customary “breaking bread” ceremony outside of the store.

“[Panera bread] means more jobs and more fattening options for guys like me,” Markowitz said as he perused the cookies and sticky treats. “It’ll be good for Brooklyn, because so many people are looking for work right now.”

Panera said that it will employe 120 people between the Kings Plaza store and its second location on Adams Street between Johnson and Willoughby streets in downtown Brooklyn, which is expected to open in February.

Tom Doherty, vice president of development for Panera Bread, said his company chose to put its first Brooklyn franchise in Kings Plaza because of its location.

“[The store] has beautiful visibility from both Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U,” he said. “We like the Mill Basin community and I think we will be well accepted here.”

To Katrink

Katrink - Brighton Beach Boardwalk restaurants – year round. Randazzo’s and the rest of Emmons Ave restaurants- right on the waterfront year round. All very successful.

The reason people don’t go to the Coney boardwalk during the winter is not because it is cold. It is because there is nothing open to go to. I have confidence that the CIDC will live up to its mission statement and build Coney into a year round destination. The neighborhood certainly needs a year round economy which it just doesn’t have. Unemployment, crime, it’s really tough. But things can change. The CIDC has to take responsibility to cause change. I have confidence in them. It’s so very important.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Barclays Center Classic

ESPN excerpt

NEW YORK -- Kentucky will play Maryland in the inaugural Barclays Center Classic next year.

Officials of the Barclays Center announced the tournament will be held Nov. 9 in the new arena in Brooklyn.

Kentucky will face Maryland in the featured game on ESPN, along with Morehead State against Long Island University.

Kentucky coach John Calipari, Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson, Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark were on hand for the announcement.

No. 2 Kentucky defeated Kansas (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP) Tuesday night 75-65 at Madison Square Garden.

"We've played in the Garden and now we're going to be playing in Brooklyn," Calipari said. "We appreciate the opportunity. We will bring 10,000, 12,000 fans, maybe more. They'll overrun the building."

Jones Walk

Bay News excerpts -

City sends Coney carnies to the boneyard

The city has given pink slips to the operators of nearly a dozen old-school carny game boothes in the heart of Coney Island’s amusement district — on Jones Walk, the seedy strip between Surf Avenue and Bowery Street that links Luna Park to Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park — refusing to re-up their leases that expired this month.

Now, the city says it wants to move in a single long-term operator to take control of the space.

Spokesman said the city is looking for a long-term operator to open new games and attractions on strip, which takes up prime space in the heart of the amusement district, nestled between the new Luna Park and the old-school Dino’s Wonderwheel Park.

“We’re looking forward to bringing new, state-of-the-art entertainment that will further revitalize Coney Island,” said Kyle Sklerov of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the quasi-government agency that is overseeing the city’s property in Coney.

The game booth closings capped a wild two-weeks for Coney, during which five Boardwalk businesses — including Cha Cha’s bar and Beer Island closed by the city-picked theme park that was tapped to turn Coney Island into an upscale, year-round destination.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From the CIDC

Coney Island Keeps on Going!

Greetings from Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA!

I wanted to share a quick update on the ongoing efforts to revitalize this historic neighborhood, which continue to pay off for visitors and residents alike. I also wanted to share some exciting new opportunities available to all those wishing to take part in Coney Island’s renaissance. This season, we celebrated the inaugural year of Scream Zone, a thrill-ride park featuring the first new major rollercoasters in Coney Island since the inimitable Cyclone was built in 1927! We continued to draw great crowds this summer despite poor weather in our area. And with much more planned for the coming years, it’s an exciting time at The One and Only Coney.

A few specific opportunities that I wanted to be sure you saw:

  1. Last week, we commenced construction on Steeplechase Plaza, a 2.2-acre park that features as its centerpiece a new pavilion for the B&B Carousell—a historic wooden carousel currently undergoing a complete restoration in an Ohio workshop. Yesterday, the NYC Parks Department released a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the operation of the carousel, the cafĂ© concession space, and a special event space within the carousel pavilion. To download a copy of the RFP, please visit the Parks Website.
  2. NYCEDC also recently released an RFP for the renovation and operation of several traditional game booths along Jones Walk between Surf Avenue and the Bowery, in the heart of the amusement area. Details are available in the RFP, which can be downloaded here.
  3. Finally, I wanted to let you know that the Coney Island Development Corporation has developed an informational map showing available properties—for lease or purchase—in the neighborhood, based on information from local owners and brokers. We intend this to be a useful tool for current or prospective businesses interested in locating in the area. You can download the map at the CIDC website:

As you can see, there’s a lot happening in Coney Island, with exciting opportunities that are already yielding great results for the local neighborhood, for millions of visitors, and for the City. If you would like to learn more about the above, or have any other questions, feel free to contact us at 212-312-4233 or at

See you on the Boardwalk!

Nate Bliss

P.S. Don't forget to check the Coney Island Fun Guide all year round to plan your next visit!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why no official lease announcements?

Why is it taking so long to announce Ruby's and Paul Daughter's leases? What is with the ever extending deadlines? Is Zamperla talking with other business too? Paul's Daughter takes down signs? Is Ruby's next?

Does anybody have any real answers here? Are there true negotiations going on? The press doesn't seem to be on the story. Strange!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Paul's Daughter - Signs are down

Are they closing for good? Big question mark.

There is a video just posted on YouTube

Barclays Center Construction

Prospect Height Patch -

PHOTOS: The Barclays Center Comes Together

A monthly photo essay documenting the construction of the Barclays Center, which the Brooklyn Nets will soon call home.

Marty announces the opening of 2 PetSmart superstores in Brooklyn

Excerpt -

On Monday, November 7, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined PetSmart as the national retailer opened its store at 238 Atlantic Avenue, one of two new locations that mark the company’s expansion into Brooklyn for the first time. A second store is located on Avenue D in Canarsie.

“To see the scores of happy pets accompanying their ‘parents’ on our borough’s streets and in places like Coney Island and Prospect Park—or Prospect ‘Bark’ as it’s known to our canine friends—it’s hard to imagine there are hundreds and hundreds of homeless animals in Brooklyn in need of a good home,” said BP Markowitz. As the proud ‘father’ to a 10-year-old African Grey Parrot named Beep, I know the joy a pet can bring to your life, and that’s why we’re thrilled to have PetSmart and PetSmart Charities adoption centers in our Brooklyn neighborhoods to help create new families by helping pets find loving homes.”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rubys still negotiating

This is from Rubys Host facebook page

Rubys - last day to be open is Sunday Nov. 13th - IT IS NOT A DONE DEAL - we are negotiating but it could go either way come on out - watch teh bears swim at 1 then have a ice cold beer with friends at Rubys and watch the sunset ......

Now basically a similar statement was posted on Rubys Bar and Grill Facebook page this morning as well but has subsequently been removed.

Curious. Very Curious. Hopefully this comes to some sort of definitive resolution soon.

Best quote of the meeting

Valerio Ferrari, CAI President, in response to a question about the boardwalk's old "charm" possibly being tarnished with changes -

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever eaten at the Boardwalk?.......Please answer the question..............

What a line!

We are now getting some sense of what the Boardwalk will look like

With an expanded year round Nathans moving into the Gyro Corner space, Randazzo's negotiating for a year round space in the old Cha Cha's (possibly the old Nathans space next door as well???), and the Beach shop from Stillwell expanding into the old Souvenir shop to go year round, you get 3 big anchors.

We still don't know what goes into the old Steve's Grill House space. Last year's rumors were Chicken Wings (Atomic Wings?) but we just have not seen any rumors this year.

Ruby's is still negotiating their space according to their Facebook page this morning, but Zamperla seemed somewhat optimistic about this last night at the meeting. CAI President did mention year round for Rubys.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just back from the Coney Panel

Nathans will be going into the old Gyro Corner building and expanding. Zamperla showed new renderings of what Ruby's and Paul's Daughter could look like next year if they stay which looks promising towards year round. Very good looking new Coney Beach /Souvenir shop on the boardwalk as well. Also noted in a slide that a potential name for the Go-Kart space could be Speed Zone. CAI/Zamperla President was also very responsive to my year round Boardwalk question. Impressive. I like the momentum.

Was happy to see the Aquarium will eventually have a concession on the boardwalk as well. The boardwalk seems so key to me all the way down to the new Steeplechase Pavilion. Happy to see Nate Bliss (CIDC President) is very optimistic about the future. I have confidence in the CIDC.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bloomberg and Recchia talk Year Round Coney

Excerpts -

“The rebirth of Coney Island has created hundreds of jobs for New Yorkers and contributed millions to the city’s economy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The construction of this new open space marks another major investment that will help continue the rebirth and eventually lead to the transformation of Coney Island into a year-round destination.”

"I'm very excited to see the construction of the Steeplechase Plaza get underway,” said Council Member Dominic M. Recchia, Jr. “The building of this plaza works in concert with other efforts made by myself, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and other city agency members to make Coney Island a year-round entertainment destination. Steeplechase Plaza will not only serve as a reminder of Coney Island's historic past but also serve as a beacon for our future as we continue to revitalize this neighborhood for the 50,000 people who call it home."

Also Food Concession RFP for the pavilion -

The Parks Department will also be issuing a Request for Proposals on Monday, November 14, seeking a concessionaire for the operation and maintenance of the carousel, as well as a food service facility and special event concession within the carousel pavilion structure. Responses will be due by Tuesday, January 17, 2012. To download a copy of the RFP, go to

NY1 video

The carousel will sit in a newly created Steeplechase Plaza. The city starts construction of the 2.2-acre park this week.

"It's a wonderful little park off the boardwalk that will allow people a place to hang out. There's a very shaded grove of trees down the hill, and it's the first public part of reimagining Coney Island," says Rockwell.

Carousel Pavilion will be Year Round

According to the Daily News it will be a 2 story glass doored building that will be operational during the winter as well. Beautiful!

Update - Daily News article is now online

The carousel will be placed in a glass-doored, two-story pavilion - which will allow it to keep running in the winter - on a $29.5 million plaza that visitors can enter by walking under the legs of the landmark Parachute Jump, now off limits to the public.

Steeplechase Plaza

When you walk the boardwalk, you can see the area around the Parachute Jump all the way down to behind MCU Park to W 16th is fenced off. Construction begins today according to the press. It is extremely curious that the Boardwalk business makeover to the east by Zamperla is happening at the exact same time that the city is working on this to the west. Year-Round Boardwalk 2012

NY Post excerpt -

The city today begins construction of a long-anticipated piece of the Coney Island makeover — Steeplechase Plaza, which officials are banking on to make the boardwalk west of Stillwell Avenue rival in popularity to Luna Park and the rest of the amusement area to the east.

The $29.5 million, 2.2-acre plaza will feature a new pavilion for the historic 1919 B&B Carousel, which was rescued from auction by the Bloomberg administration in 2005, that will help showcase the landmark Parachute Jump.

The plaza will be located on the site of the former Steeplechase Amusement Park, between W. 16th and W. 19th streets. It’ll allow visitors to enter the amusement area by walking directly underneath the 262-feet-high Parachute Jump.

“Steeplechase Plaza is a first big step at building up the western end” that also includes soon-to-be built new playgrounds, shops and market-rate high-rise housing,” said local Councilman Domenic Recchia Jr. (D-Brooklyn).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The All New Year Round Coney Island

Get Ready...................................

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coney Island USA talks Year-Round

City Beats excerpts -

Coney Island USA, a nonprofit arts organization, is undergoing a building expansion project to increase space for performances and arts programs that it hopes will help attract visitors year-round.

“A lot of people think that once the summer ends, there’s nothing to do in Coney Island,” said Tim Pendrell, 30, development director of Coney Island USA. “The reason the arts are important is that it’s often among the first groups to act quickest in redeveloping neighborhoods. A cultural scene emerges, and that brings in other developers and interests.”

The dream, if able to raise enough money that will support constructing a tower, is to mold the building as the centerpiece of the Coney Island skyline. That’s the 20-year plan because the organization has not yet agreed on a final design and still needs to hire an interior designer.

But it already has architectural renderings of what the new building might look like. And because Denny’s Ice Cream Shop is not landmarked, unlike the organization’s current home, Coney Island USA is looking to build up.

In one of the renderings, a waved front and colossal word of walls forms a unique shape against a backdrop of adjacent buildings with straight lines. In another rendering, a hulking elephant sits atop the new Coney Island USA, towering over the horizon in a throwback to Bohemianism.

Bloomberg talks Year-Round Coney


“Through the City’s Coney Island Revitalization Plan, we’ve brought Coney back as an amusement destination for visitors from around the city and world,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The rides are bigger and better than ever, and that means more jobs for New Yorkers and more economic activity for New York City. Coney Island is well on its way to becoming a year-round destination as well as an even better place to live and work.”

Update - CAI pres said year round too --

“We are thrilled to have welcomed so many new and familiar faces to Scream Zone and Luna Park in a 2011 season that exceeded all expectations,” said Valerio Ferrari, president of Central Amusement International. “With another year of record-breaking attendance and a season that now spans seven months, Coney Island is well on its way to becoming a world-class, year-round amusement destination.”

Better than Disney World

NY1 excerpt -

"Coney Island is definitely growing it's expanding and it's going to be better than Disney World some day," Vourderis said.

Jones Walk RFP

Excerpt -

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) is seeking proposals for a lease agreement for the development and operation of game booths and/or for ancillary entertainment attractions at properties located on Jones Walk in the Coney Island neighborhood in the Borough of Brooklyn (“The Site”). The Site is approximately 1,650sf and is located in the entertainment/amusement core of the recently approved Special Coney Island District. NYCEDC anticipates leasing the Sites for a term of up to 9 years. This lease agreement will help further the establishment of Coney Island as a dynamic amusement area and will contribute to an enhanced visitor experience at Coney Island.

Coney draws record crowds!

Daily News excerpt-

More than 640,000 people came to two new amusement parks — up from 450,000 last year Crowds at Coney Island surged this summer despite the soggy weather.

More than 640,000 people came to two new amusement parks, city officials said — up from 450,000 last year and the most since Steeplechase Park closed in 1964.

“With another season of record attendance in the books, the city’s efforts to revitalize Coney Island continue to gain momentum,” said Seth Pinsky, the president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., in a statement.

“The steady increase in visitors, drawn by dramatic new amusements, is helping to bring more people back to the ‘People’s Playground’ ” he said.

Italian amusement company Zamperla opened Luna Park last year with 19 family rides. This year, it added Scream Zone, with two new roller coasters and two other thrill rides on the city-owned land. Visitors took more than 2 million rides at the parks this year.

The number of visitors spiked despite the rainiest month ever in New York this August and a total weekend washout for Hurricane Irene.

But the season ended on a sour note for five Boardwalk businesses evicted by the amusement giant, who had to leave for good this weekend.

Read more:

Randazzo's sounds serious!

Bay News excerpts -

Randazzo’s Clam Bar eyes second restaurant on the Coney Island Boardwalk

Owners of the legendary Randazzo’s Clam Bar in Sheepshead Bay say they have been asked to open an outpost on Coney Island — but they would have to do it at the expense of a less-legendary place: Cha Cha’s Bar on the Boardwalk.

Randazzo’s new Coney restaurant would feature an informal clam bar on the first floor and a fancier, glass-enclosed restaurant with a bar and lounge on the building’s roof, said Joey Randazzo, whose family owns the popular clam bar on Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay.

“The restaurant would have a Coney Island atmosphere but the food would be the same,” Randazzo said.

Randazzo said that he was approached last month by Central Amusement International — the company that runs Luna Park and controls the leases of the Boardwalk businesses within the amusement district — about the possibility of opening an upscale restaurant at Cha Cha’s, a popular honky-tonk watering hole that closed last month after auctioning off all of its contents.

Central Amusement wants to class-up the area by replacing kitschy Boardwalk establishments it has deemed unworthy of doing business on the Boardwalk with fancier restaurants.

“Once the Boardwalk is built back up we want to be a part of it,” he said. “It’s going to be a happening place.”

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Boardwalk - Aquarium to MCU Park

It looks to me, just from walking around yesterday, that there is a plan taking shape to basically change the entire boardwalk atmosphere from the Aquarium to MCU Park in 2012. It is curious that Steeplechase Plaza construction (behind MCU Park) is starting right when Zamperla's plans for the boardwalk businesses are starting.

I see extreme change happening to Coney in 2012. Let's all pray that the CIDC implements its plan of year-round.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Walked the Boardwalk today

My wife and I took a walk up and down the boardwalk today. Basically the place looks a natural disaster hit it. Horrendous. Bums camped in front of Cha Chas, junk all over the place, some other places boarded up, signs taken down and even Steeplechase Plaza fences covered getting ready for some construction. Sections of the boardwalk wood itself are missing and fenced off.

One guy screamed at some other guy walking by --- This whole place is changing by next summer. You won't recognize it.

I turned to my wife and said - Did you hear that guy screaming? Let's just hope he is right.

It certainly looks like big big change is about to happen.

Very curious change on Amusing the Zillion Blog

If you look at the right hand side of the page under categories it now states -

"Goodbye--or Maybe Not?--to Paul's Daughter & Ruby's"

If you look at a cached version of this same page from 2 days ago it states-

"Goodbye--or Maybe Not?--to 7 Coney Island Mom & Pops"

Very very curious change. The question rises - Are the 5 other businesses officially gone now?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Panel Discussion on Coney Island

Fri 11.11.2011


When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11

Where: At The Center

In July of 2009, after much community input and discussion, the City Council adopted the New York City Department of City Planning’s rezoning of Coney Island and creation of the Special Coney Island District which promotes year round entertainment and enhanced amusements in a vibrant, urban pedestrian environment. With the new zoning in place, the New York Aquarium, Coney Island USA, the Coney Island Development Corporation and Central Amusement International have begun to strategically plan the future of the new Coney Island by creating ambitious new architectural agendas for their institutions.

Join us for a panel discussion of the history of Coney Island, the new zoning, and current proposals for the revitalization of the Amusement District. A reception will follow the panel discussion.

Stuart Pertz FAIA, Architect/Urban Planner
Nate Bliss, President, Coney Island Development Corporation
Valerio Ferrari, President, Zamperla Inc
Dick Zigun, Executive Artistic Director, Coney Island USA;
Jon Dohlin, Director, New York Aquarium.

Free for Members
$10 for non Members

Organized by the AIANY Architectural Tourism Committee

Beverage sponsorship provided by Coney Island Craft Lagers

The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
NY, NY 10012
(212) 683-0023